Question

what are the pros and cons of having spouse name on house title?

I am buying a house, paying everything from my pocket (costs and monthly mortgage), what are the advantages and disadvantages of having my spouse's name on the title. I heard that in some states, you must have your spouse's name on the title by law. Is that true? Thanks

8 years ago - 10 answers

Best Answer

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There is no difference for you. if she is pressuring you to refinance and put her on the loan, explain to her that it costs money to refinance and typically you will be rolling the closing costs into the new loan thus eating up equity. and risking getting a higher interest rate which equals higher payments. If she wants to do it for credit reporting reasons, there are other ways to bring ones credit score up. Now you can go down to your title company or equivilant to, and have her put on the deed of trust, but if you are married and live in a community property state, then guess what half the house is hers anyways and problem solved. I think that is what people are telling you that by law she has to be on title, no the correct answer is by law half the home is already hers, and if you were to buy another home under your name her being your wife would have to sign at closing on the deed of trust because of community property state laws, but if you don't live in a community property state then no it is not required by law.

8 years ago

Other Answers

There are no cons unless you are worried about divorce. If you are in a community property state, though, whose name is on the title won't matter anyway. If you make payments on time, and you die, and your spouse needs credit, their name on the title can help their credit rating. Also, if you die, you spouse still owns it and does not have to worry about inheriting it.

Relax--it is a normal thing. If your marriage is on the rocks, reconsider buying the house altogether.

by fungusbrains1 - 8 years ago

yes that is true there name will be on it.

by agentmaxwell2003 - 8 years ago

Advantage without your wife's name on title would be later on if you interested in getting another property, you can use your wife's name on title to get a owner occupied interest rate. (Knowing the fact that bank charges a higher interest rate for Investment property)
But keep in mind that your spouse will still be entitle to half of that house if you were to get into a divoice even if her name or your name is not on title, as long as you bought the house after you get married.

Source(s)

by Ray - 8 years ago

I am a mortgage specialist here in New York. I do many mortgages where married couples choose to have the one spouse with the best credit go on title as long as their income can carry the monthly payment.

The most common reason for this is because the other spouse
has judgments that will attached to the house once that person goes on title. And in the case where property values
increase fairly rapidly, when they want to refinance, those judgments will have to be paid off out of the new equity thus lowering or eliminating the cash-out the home owner would receive.

I have closed loans all over the country and I must say that I have not encountered a situation where the law requires the spouse's name to be on title. The primary advantage to having your spouses name on the title is to the advantage of the spouse as long as you keep paying the mortgage on time. This will dramatically improve the credit rating of the spouse. Should you choose to not have your spouse go on title initially, there is a way for you to address the problem of getting your spouses name on title in an emergency. Please contact me at wwi_2@yahoo.com and I will explain it to you.

by FinanceMan - 8 years ago

lol...depends wholy on if you trust your spouse of not, don't you think? Maybe you should think about that first.

by jessica - 8 years ago

Here's my opinions: 1. State of Mich says that when you get married the spouse's name should be added to the title as soon as possible (I learned the hard way). 2. If you happen to suddenly die, your spouse WILL end up losing the house. My husband passed away a year ago, and if both our names weren't on the house title, it would've gone to probate and there was a 90% chance of losing it. Something to keep in mind.

Source(s)

by curvysparkie - 8 years ago

If you live in a community property state such as California, the law requires your spouse to be on the title, however she can sign a quit claim deed before closing taking her off, which puts the property in your name alone.

If something should happen to you how would she get title to the house after you are gone? You could open a revocable living trust making her the executor.

It does not matter if she pays nothing on the mortgage or closing cost, she can still be on title.

I hope this has been of some use to you, good luck

by Skip - 8 years ago

I can't speak specifically to the law, but I know as far as the mortgage is concerned, it will appear as if she is paying for it, just like you. It will help build her credit. The issues concerning it for some banks is that they don't like to review files with a "non contibuting" co borrower, and she is on title, which is bad if you don't get along and good if you do, but will depend on the state specific laws. Here, in Arizona, we have a community property state, meaning that anything purchased during the marriage is the property of both, prior to is that persons sole person.

Source(s)

by billydeluxe13 - 8 years ago

Whenever I purchased my home. My spouse's name did not go on the loan or the title! Simply because at the time his credit rating was to low! Which would of made my interest rate go up! Also he had been laid of from his place of employment(and still is),which would of also effected my chances of getting a decent credit rate,and even getting the loan! So,the real estate agent told me to just apply by myself! Which is what I did! I don't know if some states require that a spouses name go onto the title,but I have never heard of this! I know that the state I am in does not require that! The only thing that sucks is when your spouse threatens to take half,whenever they have paid nothing!! I do not think that is right! That just confirms that marriage is an institution! lol! I just don't think that is fair! I got married very young. And have bought many things through out the years,with no help from my spouse. So,I don't think he should have any rights to the stuff,I have purchased.Especially since we have two children,which he has never really supported or cared for,while we were seperated! Although,now any time we argue, all he ever does is threaten me that he will get half of everything I own,etc! And that really upsets me! Especially since he was once physically and verbally abusive in the past! Not to mention,he has cheated and we have separated many times,also! I could go on and on about this.lol but I am not going to. If I were you I would make your spouse sign a prenuptial agreement! That way you don't have to worry about losing EVERYthing you have purchased on your own! Unfortunately I was too young to do that! I got married at 19yrs old! I was young and immature back then! I am 34 now.But Its a bit too late for that pre-nup now,unfortunately! But it's not to late to get a good lawyer! And that is what I would do!Anyhow,Good-luck to you!

by lil_lady_lora - 8 years ago